By Trent Barrick, MT-BC

Quite possibly my favorite playlist I’ve ever put together: Festivus!!

Celebrated on December 23rd, the word and unofficial holiday Festivus was created by author Daniel O’Keefe. This spectacular day is a secular alternative to the commercialized Christmas season. Most who watched the American sitcom, “Seinfeld,” will remember the fictional holiday integrated into the show. It included a Festivus (turkey + ham + Pepperidge Farm M&M cake) dinner and a Festivus (unadorned aluminum) pole. Traditions followed dinner, such as the “Airing of Grievances” (openly sharing disappoints from the previous year) and the “Feats of Strength” (wrestling match between the head of the household and a person of their choosing). Lastly, celebrators of Festivus reference natural occurrences as magically induced “Festivus miracles.”

In the spirit of Festivus, we found the best parody-esque, anti-cheeseball, and incredibly well-produced songs we could find for our playlist! Please click here: Festivus

Lastly, I had to make a non-religious playlist for Christmas. Much pressure and commercialism has transformed how December 25th is celebrated in the American tradition. Regardless, folk-lore and magic is still at the heart of this special day of the year. Many children around the world will recognize one name when you mention Christmas – Santa Claus! Somehow, Santa has and will continue to fit his rear down many a chimney, accompanied by a magic bag of tricks and gifts. And who can forget his 8 reindeer? (Rudolph only came on the scene when the infamous song was written and popularized around the 1940s!) Legend says his journey takes him around the world in just 24 hours. Santa came from St. Nicholas, a bishop known for his generosity and joy! You can read more about his origins here.

Even for those who don’t subscribe to the idea of Santa, the holiday itself (outside of the commercialism) can still represent a day of togetherness, giving to others, joy and an excuse to put in a cheesy Hallmark movie. This holiday has become such a part of American culture, many stores close in honor of the days significance. We must admit, in the work of a board-certified music therapist in hospice, it can also represent a day of sadness for those who have lost family members or friends. Music is one of the many tools we use in our relationship with clients to reinforce the message of hope, love, comfort, and validation.

Don’t forget our X-mas playlist here: X-mas

Whatever you celebrate this season, happy holidays to you and yours!